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Saints cheer team visits troops in Iraq
Saints cheerleader Kelli Magee shakes hands with Wilkesboro, N.C., native Pfc. Richard Lea, Company E, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, during an autograph session at Forward Operating Base Hammer June 24. - photo by Third Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs photo
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq — The New Orleans Saintsations cheerleading squad visited Forward Operating Base Hammer, June 23, to thank 3rd Brigade Combat Team soldiers.
FOB Hammer was the 12th stop for the cheerleaders on a tour of various bases in Iraq.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable,” said Tori Nunez, a cheerleader with the squad. “Being in America, you get a very different viewpoint of how things are out here. It has been amazing to hear what the soldiers are doing. We are very excited to go back and tell everyone all the good things we’ve seen.”
The cheerleaders signed autographs and talked with the 3rd BCT soldiers. Lt. Col. Ryan J. Kuhn, a Clarks, Neb., native, the 3rd BCT deputy commander, presented a certificate of appreciation to the squad.
“They did a wonderful job of lifting morale of the soldiers,” said Spc. Coty Lowe, from Jacksonville, Fla., Headquarters Company, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion. “They were all very down to earth and friendly.”
For many of the cheerleaders this tour to Iraq was another way to say thanks.
“Of course, we want to thank all of the soldiers that are out here, but it really meant a lot to us to meet the soldiers that came down to New Orleans to help with the aftermath left after Katrina,” Nunez said. “It was great to meet them and get to thank them personally. This was our small way of returning the favor for all they did for us.”

Hutto is a reporter for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
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